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mtbradley
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Note Last minute question

We're heading out in the morning. We usually sleep aboard at The Moorings, get a morning briefing and are off the dock by around 9am. Assuming that's the case this time, I'm thinking we will go to The Caves for some snorkeling and lunch, then head over to Cooper to overnight. My questions are two:

1) Given the time of year (not usually necessary to get to an anchorage before 3 or 4 to get a mooring), do you all think we've got time to do this, or will we arrive at Cooper too late?

2) If we did arrive too late, what is the best alternative for a mooring with a restaurant? I'm thinking we could go back to Peter Island - though I've never overnighted there. We will dive the Rhone the next morning, so I'd rather not go over to Spanish Town or up to Marina Cay. Any ideas? I suppose we could always provision for a simple dinner and have it as a back up. We don't do dinner on board very often. We'd rather someone else cook and clean on our vacation.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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mtbradley
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:03 pm    

I should have said that my impression is that Cooper is not good holding for an anchor. I'm happy to be corrected if someone can point me to where the holding is good. It's mostly grass there at Cooper.
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:17 pm    

The next couple of weeks are a "mini-peak" season. I would not dawdle too long before heading to Cooper. Off the dock by 9AM (optimistic) should get you to the caves by 10AM. Assuming that you don't have to wait for a ball there (optimistic again), you should be able to snorkel and be away by 11AM or so. I would motor to Cooper - that leg can take 4+ hours to sail. You can motor it in about an hour and a half.

Personally, I do NOT like Peter Island. We have been there a few times and felt like we were not very welcome, but that they were happy to take all of the money that they could. The last time (15+years ago), they required long pants, a jacket, and a tie for dinner in the restaurant. Maybe that has changed.

Spanish Town is a LONG way from there. Once I get to VG from the channel, there is (for me) no going back.

My recommendation for a backup to Cooper would be Marina Cay - or maybe Trellis Bay. That area is much closer than VG.

You might also consider Brandywine Bay on Tortola. That is reasonably close to Salt Island. You will have to anchor there - no moorings - but the anchorage is easy. We have done it a few times. Go ashore and go to the new Brandywine Restaurant - it is getting tremendously good reviews from the people that I know that have been there.
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:26 pm    

Regarding anchoring at Cooper: We do it, but we know the area very well. I would not recommend it to anyone else.

Now, that being said...

If you MUST anchor - go to the north of the moorings. To the north of the resort is a prominent concrete wall below a house up higher. Off of that is decent holding in 10-15 feet of water. That area has a fair amount of rock and is outside the problematic grassy bottom area. Anchor as near shore as you are comfortable with, but do not leave enough scope that will put you on the beach. That area backwinds badly - and you could easily find yourself standing off your anchor toward shore.
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mtbradley
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:26 pm    

Thanks Walker. I like the Brandywine Bay suggestion. That sounds perfect. We used to go late October/early November, which I prefer. But we've been doing early June for the past couple of trips. Sometimes it feels busier, and other times less so. We do a mid-week start which helps us avoid not only the crowd trying to get off the dock but also the way that crowd tends to congregate all the way around the islands.
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mtbradley
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:28 pm    

Good to know about anchoring at Cooper. If we can get a ball I'll check it out for future back ups as well.
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mtbradley
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:38 pm    

Looking at google maps I don't see a dinghy dock in Brandywine. Looked it up in the cruising guide and it didn't say anything either. Looks like there might be a tiny little dock near the restaurant on the east side of the bay nearly to the shoal area. Is that it? Otherwise I guess we beach the dinghy and walk the road to the restaurant?
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mtbradley
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:50 pm    

Nevermind. Found a source that says that is the dinghy dock.
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:27 pm    

Yes - that dock on the east side of the bay, just to the south of the condos is the dinghy dock. It is a short walk from there to the restaurant.
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Chriskal
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:14 pm    

Out of curiosity, is there a particular reason for a "mini-peak" this time of year, or is that simply what you have observed? We picked a june date (17-24), in part, to avoid the crowds, so I'm going to be a little bummed if I missed something that might have tipped me off.
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mtbradley
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:30 pm    

I've not gone late May or late June, so I don't have anything to compare it to except Oct/Nov. It's only a little bit more crowded in June from what I can tell. And it depends on the location. The east end of Loblolly on Anegada is as quiet as ever when we go in June. Virgin Gorda doesn't feel too crowded - The Baths, North Sound - everything is pretty quiet. But popular day spots can fill up quickly - The Indians, The Dogs, Monkey Point, etc. That said I've never once seen people motoring around waiting for a mooring ball except at the Indians. Like I said above, though, we go midweek to midweek, so we are off kilter form the crowd.

I'm guessing if there's a predictable reason for the peak it's that school has let out. But that's just a guess.
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:13 pm    

You got it, Matt: school is out.
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kentth
Link to this postPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:07 pm    

We normally charter May or June. The weather is still good, you are just at the very beginning of hurricane season. The charter rates are normally lower, but lately I have noticed the are moving to a mid-season rate. Not as crowded or busy.

Kent
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sail2wind
Link to this postPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:46 pm    

My son says STT is packed with cruise ships, which is good for his business. Definitely the after school ends vacation time
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Robinmitchell
Link to this postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:20 pm    

I love June in the islands. The water, wind etc. are my favorite. The price is pretty good, too.
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